Google “abused dominant position” by turning off Adwords account

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A French court has ruled that Google “abused its dominant market position” when it closed an advertiser’s Adwords account, reports the FT. Navx is a Paris-based provider of mobile information on speed camera location and petrol prices for motorists; the company had purchased Adwords for three years, spending around €40,000 a month, until Google banned them. Navx say that 60% of their business vanished overnight, and they were forced to lay off 12 staff after Google’s decision.

Google, ironically, argued that their decision was spurred by French law, which prohibits the use of radar detection devices. Navx countered their argument saying that they did not sell such devices, they merely provide information about the location of speed cameras, plus they were given insufficient notice of Google’s policy change.

The interim ruling of the Autorité de la Concurrence instructs Google to restore Navx’s Adwords account within 5 days, and instructs them to clarify the T&Cs for Adwords which it said “lack clarity”. Google are set to challenge the ruling.

4 Responses

  1. That’s odd. Usually when Google doesn’t want you to advertise with them they just up your clicks to $10.00 each and drop your impression count. Seems like they should have done that instead and just blamed the algorithm they agreed to be held to.


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